1. Amblivalance, maybe a little bit of denial. Back before I knew better, part of me was expecting this as punishment for having such a stressful life.
2. Surgery, followed by more surgery, followed by chemo therapy (TAC every three weeks for 6 - 8 treatments...Taxoterre, Adromacyn and Cytoxin...not sure of exact spelling
) followed by radiation. My hair is finally starting to grow back! YES
3. Emotionally, had to continue on like normal. Mom of three and part time worker/student. Had to be strong, and given that I had helped my fierce and brave mom live strong and then die well, I had an exellent example.
4. Many suprises. Weight gain. Thought it was supposed to go the other way around. Losing my eyelashes and eyebrows...was prepared for the hair, but it was as if my face had been wiped clean of all personality. The cost $$$$, even with good insurance I am still paying off medical bills...and babysitters and housekeepers and lost work time. My hair growing back a different color and texture too. How tired I have been since, how long it's taking me to bounce back since treatment. How loved I actually am. How brave and strong I really am. How precious my children are. How precious my life is, even if I have had it harder than most.
5. Lowest point: Can think of five that all are equally bad: Losing my hearing in one ear becuase my entry level Nurse practitioner forgot to order my white/red blood cell booster shots, leaving me vulnerable to infection, which caused me to spike a fever soon after chemo while in the guest bedroom of my home which caused me to pass out... and everyone in the house had left... had nobody checking on me or finding me for hours and I couldn't wake up or move...but badly needed water, antibiotics. Had white blood cell counts in the small digits when I was finally tested.
Then was the time my port developed a blood clot and infection and the receptionist kept me waiting for two hours while my arm swelled up to the size of my thigh...I kept asking if it would be best for me to proceed onto the emergency room. Was about to do that when a nurse practitioner called me back into the offices. Nearly passed out on the nurses aide on the way there.
Then I was put on blood thinners due to the blood clot near my port, which caused me to bleed out during my period. Hemoraged to the point I passed out while at my local wellness center. All my bleeding while I was passed out scared all those older post menopausal ladies with breast cancer half to death. An expensive ambulance was called.
The time a perfect stranger brought my toddler home ( he had been found several houses down the block) and she found me passed out on the couch with a messy house. I started to gag once I became vertical and could only talk to her through the bathroom. It was before I had lost all my hair yet, so I just looked like a drunk or a drug addict.
The time my toddler was stuck up high on the play structure and I couldn't hear him yelling for me, even though I had fallen asleep on the lawn right nearby.
6. I would share to power of prayer, and of giving yourself up to the universe and letting everything go for awhile.
7. Breast cancer